With domestic violence increasing during the pandemic and with the labor shortage at a low, La Crosse’s only shelter is seeking volunteers.
New Horizons Shelter & Outreach, Inc., will be hosting a four-day spring advocacy training this and next week. The training will be held on Zoom on this Monday and Tuesday and May 2-3.
It is free to attend and once completed, those people will be able to volunteer with New Horizons. Registration is required and can be done so on their website.
New Horizons relies on 75-125 volunteers a year to help with fundraising events, answering their crisis line and working in their women’s shelter, among other things.
According to New Horizons executive director Ann Kappauf, volunteers are needed for short-term work, such as helping with a specific event or fundraiser, as well as long-term, which involves working closely with victims to provide resources and support.
The training isn’t just for those looking to volunteer, but also people in the community who want a deeper understanding of the organization, and how to help those around them experiencing domestic violence.
“Not only is it beneficial for persons who want to volunteer or intern at our agency, it’s imperative that the community has the opportunity to attend, even if they choose never to volunteer.” Kappauf explained. “Attending the advocacy training is going to help people understand what abuse is and how they can help others.”
There is no pressure to volunteer after attending the event. In fact, Kappauf encourages those who are hesitant, to simply register and see what the organization is all about.
“One in three women and one in four men will experience abuse sometime in their lifetime,” Kappauf said. “People think it will never happen to anybody that they know, but it does.
“Attending the advocacy training is going to help a person understand what abuse is. It’s not just physical, there’s so much more to it, and this will help people help others.’’